28 Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try:

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Ponytails will never go out of style. But if you have short hair—while always chic—it can be a little difficult to sweep into a pulled back look. Classic, messy, romantic, fun, modern, there are so many ponytail styles waiting to be tried, some of which seem to be meant for shorter strands.

Just because you dont have Rapunzel-length locks doesnt mean you cant toss your hair up into the most classic style. We gathered some of our favorite short ponytail looks from celebrities for inspiration, and reached out to three hairstylists on how to achieve the look.

Lauren Paglionico is a master colorist and founder of Lrn Beauty. Gina Rivera is a hair artist and founder Phenix Salon Suites. Clyde Haygood is a celebrity hairstylist and PURA D’OR partner.

Sleek and High

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Sleek and High

Done by celebrity hairstylist Nicole Blais, Lana Condors high, sleek pony leaves you with a chic and playful look that can easily be worn from day to night. The To All the Boys Ive Loved Before stars pony goes perfect with a dramatic makeup look, since the hair is more on the subtle side.

Side-Parted and Low

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Side-Parted and Low


Karlie Klosss hairstylist, Harry Josh, kept her side-parted low pony slicked back and chic. "Slicked back low ponytails work well for both short and fine hair you can also be creative with your part to bring it to the next level," says hair artist and salon owner Gina Rivera. "To achieve this look, apply Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream ($36) and take a boar bristle brush smooth the hair back. You can apply hairspray to a fine-tooth comb to slick back any fine baby hair pieces around the face."


Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Mohawk

We had to take a moment to admire Logan Brownings braided-up mohawk pony. To achieve this hairstyle seen on the Dear White People actress, youll begin by braiding the sides of your hair, but leaving some undone at the ends. Then youll pull up all your hair in a mohawk-like style and clip in the middle. Its perfect for natural and curly hair types.

Short and Voluminous

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Short and Voluminous


If straight and sleek isnt your thing, try replicating this voluminous short ponytail that Harry Josh styled for actress Rose Byrne. We love the sheer amount of volume there is at the crown of her head and the top of the pony. No matter which angle you look at it from, its fresh and bouncy.

Low with a Diagonal Part

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Low with a Diagonal Part


Our next inspiration comes courtesy of Kate Bosworth, who happens to be one of our all-time favorite beauty muses. Although her hair is technically medium length, we think this low pony could work for any hair length, including short. Take it from Josh, who captioned this photo, "Sometimes its just small details like a diagonal side part and super sleek pony!"

Ponytail with Bangs

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Ponytail with Bangs


If you have short hair and bangs, look no further than this soft and wavy look that Josh created for legendary supermodel Helena Christensen. We like how her bangs swoop over to one side of her forehead, ending in a fresh and feathery texture.


Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Textured

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A textured ponytail like Chanel Imans works with any length and style of hair, if you use the right products. Here, a texture spray or light hold hair spray will be your best friends.

"Dont fight your waves embrace them!" says Rivera, who likes using Moroccanoil Dry Texture Spray ($30). " To add body at the root and ends, scrunch and place your pony at the occipital bone leaving the remaining hair left to its natural wave. Pull out some face framing pieces to add to the softness."

Face-framing Pieces

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Face-framing Pieces

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Taylor Swifts full bangs and face-framing pieces soften any pulled back look even if you cant see the entirety of the style from the front.

Big Curls

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Big Curls

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"I love high ponytails when it comes curly textures and thick hair this style is easy with little effort and doesnt require a lot of any product," says Rivera.

Tori Kellys high curly ponytail works well with all hair lengths, but shorter types will be able to see more layers in the curls. To get Kellys shiny curls, Rivera recommends Moroccanoil Glimmer Shine ($30).

Box Braided High Ponytail

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Box Braided High Ponytail

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Yara Shahidi knows how to rock box braids. We love that she opted to let her braids fall to one side of this high ponytail look.


Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Wavy

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Olivia Culpos entire head was waved before it was pulled back into a wavy low ponytail. We love the lift at the crown and face-framing wavy pieces that make this style of ponytail pretty, yet relatable. To achieve Culpos pieceyness for texture, try using IGK Beach Club Texture Spray ($34) for a similar effect.


Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Braided

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If youre an "I have five minutes to do my hair or I will be insanely late for work" type of person, then replicate this easy look worn by Kate Mara. Sweep your hair back into a normal pony before braiding down the lengths. This will take all of 30 seconds (especially if you have super-short strands).


Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Looped


Vanessa Hudgens, the unofficial queen of boho-chic, posted this photo to her Instagram. Even though its technically a looped bun, were counting it as a ponytail since the majority is left out of the elastic. This is an easy style that can span edgy and romantic, depending on your makeup and clothing choices.

Blunt Ponytail

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Blunt Ponytail

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Joan Smallss blunt ponytail is giving us major Cleopatra vibes. This style works with fine hair or thick hair, so long as it is blown out and straightened.

Dressed Up with a Headband

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Dressed Up with a Headband


Lucy Hale proves all it takes to add some oomph to an otherwise traditional short ponytail is a big and bejeweled headband. Its the ultimate way to amp up a sleek hairstyle.

Curly with a Cuff

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Curly with a Cuff

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Up the ante with a curly ponytail by holding it together with a gold cuff. Metallics play nicely against dark hair, too.

Low with a Bow

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Low with a Bow

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A big, black velvet bow is perhaps the easiest way to elevate a classic ponytail look. Its equal parts romantic and sophisticated.

Classic and Refined

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Classic and Refined

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We love Olivia Munns classic, center-parted low ponytail because its a chic look, but the slight volume and loose stray hairs pulled out from behind her ears create a more casual elegance.

"Having short hair, a layered haircut, or damaged broken pieces can make wearing your hair in a ponytail a real struggle," says celebrity hairstylist Clyde Haygood. "To protect hair from products that may be drying to the hair (hairspray) I always start with a protective spray. My absolute favorite is the Pura Dor Argan Oil Heat Shield ($15) because it’s infused with argan oil which is ultra-hydrating and won’t weigh hair down."


Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Retro

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Scarlett Johanssons retro bouffant ponytail and eye makeup ooze vintage glamour. This style also works great for those who have fine hair and want to fake a fuller ponytail. Simply spritz in some texture spray and tease hair at the crown before styling into place.

Pinned Back

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Pinned Back

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Sarah Paulsons super short ponytail is small, but the slicked back style and bobby pins keeping her strays in place add a funky element to her look.

"Take your time getting short pieces to lay right. Secure with a ponytail holder and then use either a gel or hairspray to topcoat hair and hold anything loose," recommends Haygood.

Curly High Ponytail

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Curly High Ponytail

@skaijackson / Instagram

For a fun and youthful look, sweep your curls up into a ponytail at the crown of your head, and let them poof out to celebrate their natural texture, as Skai Jackson does here.

Stick Straight

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Stick Straight


Khloe Kardashian decided to accessorize her stick-straight low ponytail with a line of black bobby pins. Its the perfect transitional look to take from the workplace to a night out.

Natural Braided Ponytail

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Natural Braided Ponytail

Naturally Curly

This stunning look starts out with a crown braid that blends into beautiful natual curly hair. Keep your curls in tact with a curl cream, like DevaCurl SuperCream ($34), which works on many curl types and gives hair a major hydration boost thanks to coconut and jojoba protein.

Slicked Back and Wrapped

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Slicked Back and Wrapped


Rosie Huntington-Whiteleys shiny, slicked back ponytail is the epitome of sophistication. And wrapping a piece of hair around the hair tie instantly elevates the look. To achieve her look, Paglionico says to start by parting hair in the middle and slicking it down with gel. "I like to use Milbons Wet Shine Gel Cream No. 5 and a cotton, seamless hair band to tie hair at the nape of my neck. because it will not break your hair," she says. "Once secure, spray the top with shine spray like Aquage Beyond Shine Spray ($24) to make it look extra sleek and glossy."

Tied with a Ribbon

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Tied with a Ribbon

The Chriselle Factor

There is just something about ribbons that evoke romance. Tie a ribbon around a low ponytail and leave the ends long for some added character. Pull out some face-framing pieces for a more lived-in look.

Topsy Tail

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Topsy Tail


Also known as a tuck under, topsy tails make for the perfect evening out or formal event, and they are so easy to create. To start, gather hair into a low ponytail and secure with a hair tie. Find the center of the ponytail above the base and pull hair all the way through until a twisted look, like the one above is achieved.

Low Side Ponytail

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Low Side Ponytail

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Side ponytails work well for both casual and formal events, depending on how the look is styled and accessorized. Keep hair balance by directing bangs to one side of the head and the ponytail to the other, as Kerry Washington does here.

Mid-Ponytail Braid

Best Short Hair Ponytail Hairstyles to Try: Mid-Ponytail Braid


With the popularity of the high ponytail and sleekness of the low pony, we often forget about the mid-ponytail. This twisted ponytail braid puts an edgy spin on the look.


How can I make my ponytail more voluminous?

Whether youre working with thinner hair or not a whole lot of length, it can be tricky to fake a voluminous ponytail. However, propping it up, teasing it, or wearing extensions, will help you to feign a fuller ponytail.

How can I use ponytail extensions?

Small clip-in extensions work well with updos and give you instant volume. To use them, begin by brushing your hair and then sectioning it. Next, clip in an extension to each section of hair from the nape of your neck to your crown. Finish by brushing hair out and styling it into your ponytail of choice.

How short can I cut my hair and still be able to wear it in a ponytail?

It depends on how you style your ponytail (e.g. a low ponytail can work with shorter hair lengths than a high ponytail) but generally speaking, shoulder-length hair will give you versatility when styling your updo. For instance, with shoulder-length, pieces wont fall out when styling hair into a high ponytail.

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